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Tag Archive for MFJ

Choosing The Correct Filing Status – Married Filing Jointly (MFJ)

Marital status is decided based on a person’s marital status on December 31. If a couple is married on December 31 of the tax year; that couple may file a joint return for the year, regardless of when in the year they got married. Consequently, you can file Married Filing Jointly if you and your spouse meet any one of the following tests:

• You are married and living together as husband and wife, on the last day of the tax year.
• You are married on the last day of the tax year and living apart, but are not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance.
• Your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry during the year.
• You are living together in a common law union that is recognized by the state where you live, or in the state where the common law union began. Read more

The Concept of Being Married, But Considered Unmarried For Tax Purposes

The general rule for married taxpayers filing their tax returns is that they can only file Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) or Married Filing Separately (MFS). There is, however, a very important exception to this rule. If you are married and separated from your spouse, under tax law you may be considered unmarried if certain conditions are met. This means that you could qualify to use the Head Of Household filing status instead of MFS, and will not be subject to the disadvantages associated with the MFS filing status.

Under tax law, you can be considered unmarried if you meet all the following tests:

• Obviously, you must intend to file a separate return from your spouse.
• You must have paid more than half the costs of keeping up a home for the tax year. Read more

United States Supreme Court DOMA Throw Down – Progress or Kabuki Theater?

iStock_Marriage CelebrationXSmallThe fact of the matter is that the Internal Revenue Service will continue to define marriage for United States Taxpayers everywhere in that only one man and one woman married to each other can file an income tax return with the filing status of married/joint. This filing status, looked upon by the Service as one taxpaying unit is entitled to substantial tax benefits over and above all other filing statuses be it Single, Head of Household, Married/separate, or Widow. So from an income tax perspective today’s supreme court decision is really in my opinion little more than kabuki theater.

If you check out the IRS’ Interactive Tax Assistant to determine your filing status you will find it to be incredibly disingenuous if not unilaterally misleading as the Instructions for the 2012 IRS Form 1040 Income Tax Return clearly state under under filing status the following.

“For federal tax purposes a marriage means only a legal union between a man and a woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” means a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” 

In my own humble opinion until you can check the box Married/Joint on an income tax return (box #2 under filing status) you are unfortunately NOT married for federal income tax purposes regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision today and I find it impossible at this time or any time in the near future that the IRS will be compelled to change their definition of the Married Filing Joint (MFJ) filing status. Read more